Hawaii, it’s a name that has always sounded very exotic when we lived in Europe, as it was so far away. Exactly on the other side of Earth. But now from San Francisco it is about 4 hours and a half away. Not too bad! For our first trip, we picked the island of Kaua’i, the oldest one, also known as the “Garden Isle”, which is not surprising as Mount Waialeale at the center is the wettest place on Earth!

We flew with Hawaiian Airlines which was surprisingly good in this time of low-cost flying. They even had typical macadamia nuts in chocolate which is one of the island specialties. After a short stop in Honolulu, we land in Līhuʻe and make our way to the north of the island.


About 950 feet (300 meters) from our rental, we find this beautiful beach, also empty. Welcome to Paradise!


We are staying near Hanalei Bay which is a quaint little community on the North Shore. Everything is so green!


There is a very famous lighthouse in the town of Kilauea which has plenty of stories attached to it. It has saved many lives including the first aviators who flew to Hawaii in 1927. They had gone off-course at the end, running on fumes and got saved just before going down as they saw the lighthouse in the distance.


The Kong Lung town market in Kilauae which dates back 100 years when the area was a big sugar plantation.


During our stay, we would typically get up just before sunrise around 6am and go for a stroll on the many beaches of the area. This is Ke’e beach, a beautiful, secluded beach just before the Napali Coast.

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A glimpse at the Napali Cost, one of the most beautiful sea shores in the US.

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Later that day, we went to do the Okolehao Trail, in the hills above Hanalai Bay. I wasn’t a hard trail in itself, but the ground was so slippery as it was so muddy that it became a big challenge not to fall. All in all very enjoyable but we came back completely covered in mud.


We saw plenty of orchids along the trail.


Sticks came in handy to not fall.


We were rewarded with beautiful views of the country side and Hanalei Bay.


We also saw all sorts of animal life, frogs, toads and wild pigs (!).


Back at our rental, this is the view from our window.


Another day, another beach.


One of the island’s favorite indulgence is Shave Ice. We found one that was particurlarly good but hard to get as they only opened when they felt like it and the weather was perfect. Still, it was worth it. We had Green Tea Shave Ice and a secret berry one. All done with organic home-made syrup and organic fruit. Yum!


One afternoon, we went to see tide pools along the shore. The trail was fun as you had to start on a beach, cross a stream to get to the other side and hike along the water. The tide pools formed from the pounding of the surf on the lava rocks which forms these natural pools.


Here’s a view of Hanalei valley.DSCF9844.jpg

We went on a lot of different hikes. All very interesting, taking to various parts of the island.


This is the remains of an old Hawaiian temple. Not a lot left.


Quite often on the trails, we would see the remains of other times, parts of trucks. Who knows the stories behind these pieces of junk.


This is coffee beans!


After the rain, the sun coming out of the clouds, the sweeping views are incredible.


One one particular day, our favorite beach was closed because a tiger shark had been sighted the afternoon before. The realities of Hawaii!

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Even as Hawaii is a big coffee producer, it is not so easy to find well prepared coffee. Most of the time, the coffee is burned and the foam is too light. But there is one place in Kapaa that does it very well! Small Town Coffee.

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Watching the sunset from our place.

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To prevent dehydration, we decided to be careful and drink lots of local beer. Thankfully it was very good!


On the other side of the island, on the West part, the Waimea Canyon. Some call it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.


We went for a long hike of about 12 kilometers in the highest swamp in the world, called Alakai Swamp. It was so cloudy and rainy but still very enjoyable. You just had to be careful not to slip. Unfortunately it was raining so much in the swamp that I didn’t take any pictures. So you’ll have to take my word for it that it was all worth it!


Back to the Canyon after the hike.


Beautiful rainbows all around.


After coming down from the mountain, we stop in a little community called Hanapepe. It is filled with art galleries and weird things.


We had the best Taro chips here, going in someone’s home to buy a bag of chips.


The fashion leader since 1946.


When it rains, it pours.


We had a wonderful dinner at Bobbie’s. He prepares a Korean style fried chicken that is just so tasty!


Back on the North Shore after heavy rain. We see waterfalls coming down from the mountains.


The shape of the beaches change all the time!


This is Tunnels beach which is pretty much paradise. This is where we saw 2 sea turtles on different occasions while we were snorkeling.


This is a view of Ke’e Beach from above along the Napali Coast Trail.


The Napali Coast.


A rock which serves as a refuge for lots of birds, right near the Lighthouse.


Near the Lighthouse, there is a wildlife refuge which serves as breeding grounds for lots of different birds.


Final picture of the coast. We are going to miss Kaua’i!!


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